New York Rangers: Five things the Rangers need to go their way

VANCOUVER, BC - DECEMBER 9: Head coach Alain Vigneault of the New York Rangers looks on from the bench from the bench during their NHL game against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena December 9, 2015 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BC - DECEMBER 9: Head coach Alain Vigneault of the New York Rangers looks on from the bench from the bench during their NHL game against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena December 9, 2015 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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New York Rangers
VANCOUVER, BC – DECEMBER 9: Head coach Alain Vigneault of the New York Rangers looks on from the bench from the bench during their NHL game against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena December 9, 2015 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images) /

The Rangers will need a few breaks to contend

The New York Rangers, ever the perennial Stanley Cup contenders, have another solid team for the 2017 season.  Just six members of the 2014 Stanley Cup final team remain. Home grown talents Derek Stepan and Dan Girardi have moved on and there is a sense of optimism in the air.

The team has retooled on the fly adding several pieces including Kevin Shattenkirk, Anthony DeAngelo, Philip Chytil and Lias Andersson. Chytil and Andersson are good bets to make the opening day lineup. Brady Skjei and Brendon Smith will have a full year to work together and build on a strong playoffs together.

This is a double edged sword, although a younger team is cheaper it also means new personnel in new roles. So it’ll be on guys like Kevin Hayes, Chris Kreider and Pavel Buchnevich to step up and show growth. Ondrej Pavelec will need to be a competent goalie NHL goalie for 25 games.

The coaching staff will also need to put their players in a position to succeed.